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The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse

By Cohen, Rich

2017-10 - Farrar Straus and Giroux

9780374120924 Check Our Catalog

A captivating blend of reportage and memoir exploring the history of the Chicago Cubs

When Rich Cohen was eight years old, his father took him to see a Cubs game. On the way out of the park, his father asked him to make a promise. "Promise me you will never be a Cubs fan. The Cubs do not win," he explained, "and because of that, a Cubs fan will have a diminished life determined by low expectations. That team will screw up your life." As a result, Cohen became not just a Cubs fan but one of the biggest Cubs fans in the world. In this book, he captures the story of the team, its players and crazy days. Billy Sunday and Ernie Banks, Three Finger Brown and Ryne Sandberg, Bill Buckner, the Bartman Ball, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo--the early dominance followed by a 107 year trek across the wilderness. It's all here--not just what happened, but what it felt like and what it meant. He searches for the cause of the famous curse. Was it the billy goat, kicked out of Wrigley Field in Game 5 of the 1945 World Series, or does it go back further, to the very origins of the franchise? Driven mad with futility, he went on the road with the team in search of answers, interviewed great players present and past, researched in libraries but also in the bleachers, double-fisted, a frosty malt in each hand, demanding answers. He came to see the curse as a burden but also as a blessing. Cubs fans are unique, emissaries from a higher realm, warning of hubris and vanity. The blue cap with the red C said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." He interviewed the architects of the 2016 Cubs, the team that broke the curse. Here's what he asked: How the hell did you do it? He was at (almost) every game of the 2016 playoff run--a run that culminated in (maybe) the single greatest baseball game ever played. He was excited but also terrified. Losing is easy. What would it mean to win? Wearing a Yankees hat meant corporate excellence. Wearing a Mets hat meant miracles. But wearing a Cubs hat meant loving the game on its most humdrum afternoon--September 13, 1979, say, 14 games out of first place, Larry Bittner driving in Ivan DeJesus. Would we lose that? Would being a Cubs become ordinary? A mix of memoir, reporting, history and baseball theology, this book, forty years in the making, has never been written because it never could be--only with the 2016 World Series can the true arc of the story finally be understood.

The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball's Most Historic Record

By Eisenberg, John

2017-07 - Houghton Mifflin

9780544107670 Check Our Catalog

The fascinating story of baseball's legendary "Ironmen," two players from different eras who each achieved the coveted and sometimes confounding record of most consecutive games played

When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he would someday beat the historic record of playing 2,130 games in a row, a record set forty-two years before by the fabled "Iron Horse" of the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig. Ripken went on to surpass that record by 502 games, and the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record spawns an array of questions. When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off? Who owned the record before Gehrig? Whose streak--Gehrig's or Ripken's--was the more difficult achievement?
Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streak delves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig's at-times unwitting pursuit of that goal (Babe Ruth used to think Gehrig crazy for wanting to play every game), and Ripken's fierce determination to stay in the lineup and continue to contribute whatever he could even as his skills diminished with age.

The question looms: How do these streaks compare? There were so many factors: the length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of nonwhite players, travel, technology, medical advances, and even media are all part of the equation. This is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation--as seen in the sport itself--for a workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game every time it called.

The Cooperstown Casebook: Who's in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Who Should Be In, and Who Should Pack Their Plaques

By Jaffe, Jay

2017-07 - Thomas Dunne Books

9781250071217 Check Our Catalog

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, tucked away in upstate New York in a small town called Cooperstown, is far from any major media market or big league stadium. Yet no sports hall of fame's membership is so hallowed, nor its qualifications so debated, nor its voting process so dissected.

Since its founding in 1936, the Hall of Fame's standards for election have been nebulous, and its selection processes arcane, resulting in confusion among voters, not to mention mistakes in who has been recognized and who has been bypassed. Numerous so-called "greats" have been inducted despite having not been so great, while popular but controversial players such as all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and all-time hits leader Pete Rose are on the outside looking in.

Now, in The Cooperstown Casebook, Jay Jaffe shows us how to use his revolutionary ranking system to ensure the right players are recognized. The foundation of Jaffe's approach is his JAWS system, an acronym for the Jaffe WAR Score, which he developed over a decade ago. Through JAWS, each candidate can be objectively compared on the basis of career and peak value to the players at his position who are already in the Hall of Fame. Because of its utility, JAWS has gained an increasing amount of exposure in recent years. Through his analysis, Jaffe shows why the Hall of Fame still matters and how it can remain relevant in the 21st century.

The Pride of the Yankees: Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic

By Sandomir, Richard

2017-06 - Hachette Books

9780316355056 Check Our Catalog

"I CONSIDER MYSELF THE LUCKIEST MAN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH."

On July 4, 1939, baseball great Lou Gehrig delivered what has been called "baseball's Gettysburg Address" at Yankee Stadium and gave a speech that included the phrase that would become legendary. He died two years later and his fiery widow, Eleanor, wanted nothing more than to keep his memory alive. With her forceful will, she and the irascible producer Samuel Goldwyn quickly agreed to make a film based on Gehrig's life, The Pride of the Yankees. Goldwyn didn't understand--or care about--baseball. For him this film was the emotional story of a quiet, modest hero who married a spirited woman who was the love of his life, and, after a storied career, gave a short speech that transformed his legacy. With the world at war and soldiers dying on foreign soil, it was the kind of movie America needed.

Using original scrips, letters, memos, and other rare documents, Richard Sandomir tells the behind-the-scenes story of how a classic was born. There was the so-called Scarlett O'Hara-like search to find the actor to play Gehrig; the stunning revelations Elanor made to the scriptwriter Paul Gallico about her life with Lou; the intensive training Cooper underwent to learn how to catch, throw, and hit a baseball for the first time; and the story of two now-legendary Hollywood actors in Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright whose nuanced performances endowed the Gehrigs with upstanding dignity and cemented the baseball icon's legend.

Sandomir writes with great insight and aplomb, painting a fascinating portrait of a bygone Hollywood era, a mourning widow with a dream, and the shadow a legend cast on one of the greatest sports films of all time.

Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971

By Montville, Leigh

2017-05 - Doubleday Books

9780385536059 Check Our Catalog

An insightful portrait of Muhammad Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military--and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century.

With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired--but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name--Cassius Clay--as being his 'slave name, ' and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book.

Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship on and Off the Court

By Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem

2017-05 - Grand Central Publishing

9781455542277 Check Our Catalog

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores his 50-year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.
When future NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still an 18-year-old high school basketball prospect from New York City named Lew Alcindor, he accepted a scholarship from UCLA largely on the strength of Coach John Wooden's reputation as a winner. It turned out to be the right choice, as Alcindor and his teammates won an unprecedented three NCAA championship titles. But it also marked the beginning of one of the most extraordinary and enduring friendships in the history of sports. In COACH WOODEN AND ME, Abdul-Jabbar reveals the inspirational story of how his bond with John Wooden evolved from a history-making coach-player mentorship into a deep and genuine friendship that transcended sports, shaped the course of both men's lives, and lasted for half a century.
COACH WOODEN AND ME is a stirring tribute to the subtle but profound influence that Wooden had on Kareem as a player, and then as a person, as they began to share their cultural, religious, and family values while facing some of life's biggest obstacles. From his first day of practice, when the players were taught the importance of putting on their athletic socks properly, to gradually absorbing the sublime wisdom of Coach Wooden's now famous "Pyramid of Success"; to learning to cope with the ugly racism that confronted black athletes during the turbulent Civil Rights era as well as losing loved ones, Abdul-Jabbar fondly recalls how Coach Wooden's fatherly guidance not only paved the way for his unmatched professional success but also made possible a lifetime of personal fulfillment.
Full of intimate, never-before-published details and delivered with the warmth and erudition of a grateful student who has learned his lessons well, COACH WOODEN AND ME is at once a celebration of the unique philosophical outlook of college basketball's most storied coach and a moving testament to the all-conquering power of friendship.

Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception

By McDermott, Terry

2017-05 - Pantheon Books

9780307379429 Check Our Catalog

The lively and fascinating story of baseball's 150-year hunt for the perfect pitch

In August 2012, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in what Terry McDermott calls "one of the greatest exhibitions of off-speed pitches ever put on." For McDermott, a lifelong fan and student of baseball, the extraordinary events of that afternoon inspired this incisive meditation on the art of pitching.

Within the framework of Hernandez's historic achievement, Off Speed provides a vibrant narrative of the history and evolution of pitching, combining baseball's rich tradition of folklore with the wealth of new metrics from a growing legion of statisticians who are transforming the way we think about the game. Off Speed is also the personal story of a fan's steadfast devotion, first kindled in McDermott by his father at the local diamond in small-town Iowa and now carried forward with the same passion by his own daughters.

Approaching his subject with the love every fan brings to the park and the expertise of a probing journalist, McDermott explores with irrepressible curiosity the science and the romance of baseball.

The Plan: Epstein, Maddon, and the Audacious Blueprint for a Cubs Dynasty

By Kaplan, David

2017-05 - Triumph Books (IL)

9781629373263 Check Our Catalog

On October 12, 2011, Theo Epstein became the new Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations, flipping a switch on the lovable-loser franchise and initiating a plan to accomplish in Chicago what he'd succeeded in as general manager of the Boston Red Sox: ending a World Series drought. It would require a complete team tear-down and turnover, a new farm system foundation of young talent which Epstein and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer gradually added to with gutsy trades and timely signings. After years of rebuilding, Epstein's crystalline vision has been unquestionably realized in the form of one of the most exciting and talented teams in baseball, led by heavyweights like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant as well as visionaries like manager Joe Maddon. In The Plan, David Kaplan of CSN Chicago and ESPN Radio goes behind the scenes with the Cubs and their front office, walking the steps of their captivating rise to becoming 2016 World Series champions. Featuring exclusive interviews with Epstein, owner Tom Ricketts, and other team insiders, this is the definitive account of a new era on the North Side.

My Cubs: A Love Story

By Simon, Scott

2017-04 - Blue Rider Press

9780735218031 Check Our Catalog

NPR's Scott Simon's personal, heartfelt reflections on his beloved Chicago Cubs, replete with club lore, memorable anecdotes, frenetic fandom and wise and adoring intimacy that have made the world champion Cubbies baseball's most tortured--and now triumphant--franchise.

Heartbreak and hope. Charmed and haunted. My Cubs is Scott Simon's love letter to his Chicago Cubs, World Series winners for the first time in over a century. Replete with personal reflections, club lore, memorable anecdotes, and tales of frenetic fandom, My Cubs recounts the franchise's pivotal moments with the wise and adoring intimacy of a long-suffering devotee and Chicago native. Simon illustrates how the condition of "Cubness" has defined the life of so many Chicagoans and how the team's fortunes became intertwined with the aspirations of its faithful. With the curse finally broken on November 2, 2016, My Cubs is the perfect portrayal of paradise lost and found.

Best Seat in the House: Your Backstage Pass Through My Wwe Journey

By Roberts, Justin

2017-03 - Meyer & Meyer Media

9781782551157 Check Our Catalog

If you ever wondered what it's like to be a giant wrestling fan and work at WWE under Vince McMahon and travel the world with co-workers who have been the stars of pro wrestling from the 90s through today, this is the definite book for you. This is the story of a passionate professional wrestling fan who wanted nothing more than to be the ring announcer for World Wrestling Entertainment. Best Seat in the House covers the journey of the type of ambitious kid that Justin Roberts was. Wrestling fans always want to know how he got his job, and this book discusses the path he took to get there, the people he met along the way and the experiences that helped shape his character. From his WWE tryout to his final night on the big stage, Justin gives
you an in-depth look at his journey to catch and live the job of his dreams. From playing with action figures of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan to actually announcing them to the ring-Justin truly lived out his dream. Apart from announcing the top wrestlers in the industry from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock to John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Ric Flair and The Undertaker, Justin also describes the politics, travel requirements of WWE talent and the overall treatment from the monopoly that drives the wrestling industry. There were so many ups, but also so many downs, and this title is the backstage pass for those who have always wondered what it would be like as a wrestling fan to actually get to work at the Disneyland of wrestling. With no hopes or interest to return to WWE and unlike those who write books while still in a relationship with the company, Justin is very honest in sharing his story. A world that's more than just scripted ballet and spandex with real-life physical action and hardworking athletes, the story of working with individuals who are real-life superheroes to all ages and genders and ethnic cities all over the world.

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old STATS That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think

By Law, Keith

2017-04 - William Morrow & Company

9780062490223 Check Our Catalog

Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law's iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport.

For decades, statistics such as batting average, saves recorded, and pitching won-lost records have been used to measure individual players' and teams' potential and success. But in the past fifteen years, a revolutionary new standard of measurement--sabermetrics--has been embraced by front offices in Major League Baseball and among fantasy baseball enthusiasts. But while sabermetrics is recognized as being smarter and more accurate, traditionalists, including journalists, fans, and managers, stubbornly believe that the "old" way--a combination of outdated numbers and "gut" instinct--is still the best way. Baseball, they argue, should be run by people, not by numbers.

In this informative and provocative book, the renowned ESPN analyst and senior baseball writer demolishes a century's worth of accepted wisdom, making the definitive case against the long-established view. Armed with concrete examples from different eras of baseball history, logic, a little math, and lively commentary, he shows how the allegiance to these numbers--dating back to the beginning of the professional game--is firmly rooted not in accuracy or success, but in baseball's irrational adherence to tradition.

While Law gores sacred cows, from clutch performers to RBIs to the infamous save rule, he also demystifies sabermetrics, explaining what these "new" numbers really are and why they're vital. He also considers the game's future, examining how teams are using Data--from PhDs to sophisticated statistical databases--to build future rosters; changes that will transform baseball and all of professional sports.

Arnie: The Life of Arnold Palmer

By Callahan, Tom

2017-04 - Harper

9780062439727 Check Our Catalog

In this definitive biography, veteran sportswriter Tom Callahan shines a spotlight on one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game, Arnold Palmer.

The winner of more than ninety championships, including four Masters Tournaments, Arnold Palmer was a legend in twentieth century sports: a supremely gifted competitor beloved for his powerful hitting, his nerve on the greens, and his great rapport with fans. Perhaps above all others, Palmer was the reason golf's popularity exploded, as the King of the links helped define golf's golden age along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

In addition to his talent on the golf course, Palmer was a brilliant entrepreneur off it, and one of the first sportsmen to create his own successful marketing brand. Forging an alliance with sports agent Mark McCormick, Palmer parlayed his popularity into lucrative deals, and helped pave the way for the multi-million-dollar contracts that have become standard for stars across all sports. But beyond his business acumen, Palmer was always a larger-than-life character, and Arnie recounts a host of unforgettable anecdotes from a long life in the spotlight.

Tom Callahan knew Palmer well for many years, and now pays tribute to this golfing icon. Filled with great stories from the key people in Palmer's life, Arnie is an entertaining and illuminating portrait of a remarkable man and his extraordinary legacy.

Return of the King: Lebron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History

By Windhorst, Brian

2017-04 - Grand Central Publishing

9781478971689 Check Our Catalog

Now a New York Times bestseller
The inside story of LeBron James's return and ultimate triumph in Cleveland.
What really happened when LeBron James stunned the NBA by leaving a potential dynasty in Miami to come home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers? How did the Cavs use secret meetings to put together the deal to add star Kevin Love? Who really made the controversial decision to fire coach David Blatt when the team was in first place? Where did the greatest comeback in NBA history truly begin-and end?

RETURN OF THE KING takes you onto the private planes, inside the locker-room conversations, and into the middle of the intense huddles where one of the greatest stories in basketball history took place, resulting in the Cavs winning the 2016 NBA title after trailing the Golden State Warriors three games to one.

You'll hear from all the characters involved: the players, the executives, the agents, and the owners as they reveal stories never before told. Get the background on all the controversies, the rivalries, and the bad blood from two reporters who were there for every day, plot twist, and social media snafu as they take you through the fascinating ride that culminated in a heart-stopping Game Seven.

Ballplayer

By Jones, Chipper

2017-04 - Dutton Books

9781101984406 Check Our Catalog

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones--one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history--shares his remarkable story, while capturing the magic nostalgia that sets baseball apart from every other sport.

Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame-worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida. A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he'd be a major league ballplayer.

With his trademark candor and astonishing recall, Chipper Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves make him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run.

Ballplayer takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves' extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 "Baby Braves"; all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers--Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, among them--and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era--outrageous money, steroids, and all--and his special last season in 2012.

Ballplayer immerses us in the best of baseball, as if we're sitting next to Chipper in the dugout on an endless spring day.

Casey Stengel: Baseball's Greatest Character

By Appel, Marty

2017-03 - Doubleday Books

9780385540476 Check Our Catalog

The definitive biography of one of baseball's most enduring and influential characters, from New York Times bestselling author and baseball writer Marty Appel.

As a player, Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel's contemporaries included Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson . . . and he was the only person in history to wear the uniforms of all four New York teams: the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Mets. As a legendary manager, he formed indelible, complicated relationships with Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Martin. For more than five glorious decades, Stengel was the undisputed, quirky, hilarious, and beloved face of baseball--and along the way he revolutionized the role of manager while winning a spectactular ten pennants and seven World Series Championships.

But for a man who spent so much of his life in the limelight--an astounding fifty-five years in professional baseball--Stengel remains an enigma. Acclaimed New York Yankees' historian and bestselling author Marty Appel digs into Casey Stengel's quirks and foibles, unearthing a tremendous trove of baseball stories, perspective, and history. Weaving in never-before-published family documents, Appel creates an intimate portrait of a private man who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 and named "Baseball's Greatest Character" by MLB Network's Prime 9. Casey Stengel is a biography that will be treasured by fans of our national pastime.

Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley's Swingin' A's

By Turbow, Jason

2017-03 - Houghton Mifflin

9780544303171 Check Our Catalog

How the Oakland A's of the 1970s--a revolutionary band of brawling Hall of Famers--won three straight championships and knocked baseball into the modern age

The Oakland A's of the early 1970s were the most transformative team in baseball history. Never before had an entire organization so collectively traumatized baseball's establishment with its outlandish behavior and business decisions, let alone an indisputably winning record: five consecutive division titles and three straight championships. The drama that played out on the field was exceeded only by the drama in the clubhouse and front office. But those A's, with their garish uniforms and outlandish facial hair, redefined the game for coming generations.

Under the visionary leadership of owner Charles O. Finley, the team assembled such luminaries as Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, and Vida Blue. Finley acted as his own general manager, his insatiable need for control dictating everything from the playlist of the ballpark organist to the menu for the media lounge. So pervasive was his meddling that one of his managers, Dick Williams, quit in the middle of the championship celebration following Oakland's Game 7 victory over the Mets in the 1973 World Series. The advent of free agency spelled the end of Finley's reign; within two years, his dynasty was lost.

A sprawling, brawling history of one of baseball's unforgettable teams, Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic is a paean to a turbulent, magical time.

The 1997 Masters: My Story

By Woods, Tiger

2017-03 - Grand Central Publishing

9781455543588 Check Our Catalog

To mark the twentieth anniversary of his historic win at the 1997 Masters, Tiger Woods will for the first time reflect on the record-setting win both on and off the course.
In 1997, Tiger Woods was already among the most-watched and closely examined athletes in history. But it wasn't until the Masters Tournament that his career would definitively change forever. Woods, then only 21, won the Masters by a historic 12 shots, which remains the widest margin of victory in the tournament's history, making it an iconic moment for him and sports.
Now, 20 years later, Woods is ready to explore his history with the game, how it has changed over the years, and what it was like winning such an important event. With never-before-heard stories, this book will provide keen insight from one of the game's all-time greats.

Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son

By Dickson, Paul

2017-03 - Bloomsbury USA

9781632863119 Check Our Catalog

From the Casey Award-winning author of Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick, the first full biography of Leo Durocher, one of the most colorful and important figures in baseball history.

Leo Durocher (1906-1991) was baseball's all-time leading cocky, flamboyant, and galvanizing character, casting a shadow across several eras, from the time of Babe Ruth to the Space Age Astrodome, from Prohibition through the Vietnam War. For more than forty years, he was at the forefront of the game, with a Zelig-like ability to be present as a player or manager for some of the greatest teams and defining baseball moments of the twentieth century. A rugged, combative shortstop and a three-time All-Star, he became a legendary manager, winning three pennants and a World Series in 1954.

Durocher performed on three main stages: New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. He entered from the wings, strode to where the lights were brightest, and then took a poke at anyone who tried to upstage him. On occasion he would share the limelight, but only with Hollywood friends such as actor Danny Kaye, tough-guy and sometime roommate George Raft, Frank Sinatra, and his third wife, movie star Laraine Day.

As he did with Bill Veeck, Dickson explores Durocher's life and times through primary source materials, interviews with those who knew him, and original newspaper files. A superb addition to baseball literature, Leo Durocher offers fascinating and fresh insights into the racial integration of baseball, Durocher's unprecedented suspension from the game, the two clubhouse revolts staged against him in Brooklyn and Chicago, and Durocher's vibrant life off the field.

Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory

By Reeder, Lydia

2017-01 - Algonquin Books

9781616204662 Check Our Catalog

"A thrilling, cinematic story. I loved every minute I spent with these bold, daring women whose remarkable journey is the stuff of American legend." --Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

The Boys in the Boat
meets A League of Their Own in this true story of a Depression-era championship women's team.


In the early 1930s, during the worst drought and financial depression in American history, Sam Babb began to dream. Like so many others, this charismatic Midwestern basketball coach wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm near the tiny Oklahoma college where he coached, Babb recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education in exchange for playing on his basketball team, the Cardinals.

Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices that their families would face, the women joined the team. And as Babb coached the Cardinals, something extraordinary happened. These remarkable athletes found a passion for the game and a heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach--and they began to win.

Combining exhilarating sports writing and exceptional storytelling, Dust Bowl Girls takes readers on the Cardinals' intense, improbable journey all the way to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson. Lydia Reeder captures a moment in history when female athletes faced intense scrutiny from influential figures in politics, education, and medicine who denounced women's sports as unhealthy and unladylike. At a time when a struggling nation was hungry for inspiration, this unlikely group of trailblazers achieved much more than a championship season.

Run, Ride, Sink or Swim: A Rookie's Year in Women's Triathlon

By Fry, Lucy

2017-01 - Faber & Faber

9780571313150 Check Our Catalog

At the age of 31, Lucy Fry was pretty certain she knew her limits. And here's how she felt about the component parts of triathlon: swimming -- fairly terrifying, especially in open water; cycling -- brilliant when done on a stationary bike, indoors; running -- sometimes fantastic, sometimes hideous. But as increasing numbers of her female friends continued to sign up to tri, Lucy couldn't help wondering: what was it about this exhausting pursuit that women seemed to find so magical, so transformative? The time had come to find out.
Over one year, five triathlons, and hundreds of training hours, Lucy uncovers the ins and outs of women's triathlon: how to wear a sports bra under a wetsuit, the competition and camaraderie, whether getting over 'jelly legs' makes you a more resilient human being -- and finds that maybe she doesn't know her limits after all...
Funny, warm, and engaging, Run, Ride, Sink or Swim is for both the tri-curious and the dedicated tri-hard, and for any woman looking for inspiration to make the transition from sofa to start line.

A Season for the Ages: How the 2016 Chicago Cubs Brought a World Series Championship to the North Side

By Yellon, Al

2016-12 - Sports Publishing LLC

9781683581154 Check Our Catalog

No doubt, you've heard about the Cubs' decades-long run of futility. They hadn't won a pennant in seventy-one years or a World Series in a record 108 years. To the frustration of Cubs fans everywhere, the team often missed chances with soul-crushing defeats.

But after a complete teardown that resulted in a 100-loss season in 2012, Theo Epstein and his baseball staff reversed that with the Cubs of 2016, a team that was not only supremely talented, but cared nothing for all the media narratives of losing. They did things during the regular season that no Cubs club had done in more than a century, including earning the most wins for the franchise since 1910. The club went on to defeat the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League playoffs before beating the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series.

Anthony Rizzo, MVP candidate Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, manager Joe Maddon, and fan favorites like Javier Baez and David Ross are the heroes of the 2016 Cubs' story. Told by Al Yellon, managing editor of SB Nation's Bleed Cubbie Blue, A Season to Remember chronicles not only the 2016 Cubs' rise to the top of the baseball heap, but the team's--and the fans'--long journey to get there.

Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV

By Buck, Joe

2016-11 - Dutton Books

9781101984567 Check Our Catalog

In this New York Times bestselling memoir, the announcer of the biggest sporting events in the country--including the 2017 Super Bowl and this century's most-watched, historic, Chicago Cubs-winning World Series--reveals why he is one lucky bastard.

Sports fans see Joe Buck everywhere: broadcasting one of the biggest games in the NFL every week, calling the World Series every year, announcing the Super Bowl every three years. They know his father, Jack Buck, is a broadcasting legend and that he was beloved in his adopted hometown of St. Louis.
Yet they have no idea who Joe really is. Or how he got here. They don't know how he almost blew his career. They haven't read his funniest and most embarrassing stories or heard about his interactions with the biggest sports stars of this era.
They don't know how hard he can laugh at himself--or that he thinks some of his critics have a point. And they don't know what it was really like to grow up in his father's shadow. Joe and Jack were best friends, but it wasn't that simple. Jack, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals for almost fifty years, helped Joe get his broadcasting start at eighteen. But Joe had to prove himself, first as a minor league radio announcer and then on local TV, national TV with ESPN, and then finally on FOX. He now has a successful, Emmy-winning career, but only after a lot of dues-paying, learning, and pretty damn entertaining mistakes that are recounted in this book.
In his memoir, Joe takes us through his life on and off the field. He shares the lessons he learned from his father, the errors he made along the way, and the personal mountain he climbed and conquered, all of which have truly made him a Lucky Bastard.

Losing Isn't Everything: The Untold Stories and Hidden Lessons Behind the Toughest Losses in Sports History

By Menefee, Curt

2016-11 - Dey Street Books

9780062440075 Check Our Catalog

A refreshing and thought-provoking look at athletes whose legacies have been reduced to one defining moment of defeat--those on the flip side of an epic triumph--and what their experiences can teach us about competition, life, and the human spirit.

Every sports fan recalls with amazing accuracy a pivotal winning moment involving a favorite team or player--Henry Aaron hitting his 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth; Christian Laettner's famous buzzer beating shot in the NCAA tournament for Duke. Yet lost are the stories on the other side of these history-making moments, the athletes who experienced not transcendent glory but crushing disappointment: the cornerback who missed the tackle on the big touchdown; the relief pitcher who lost the series; the world-record holding Olympian who fell on the ice.

In Losing Isn't Everything, famed sportscaster Curt Menefee, joined by bestselling writer Michael Arkush, examines a range of signature "disappointments" from the wide world of sports, interviewing the subject at the heart of each loss and uncovering what it means--months, years, or decades later--to be associated with failure. While history is written by the victorious, Menefee argues that these moments when an athlete has fallen short are equally valuable to sports history, offering deep insights into the individuals who suffered them and about humanity itself.

Telling the losing stories behind such famous moments as the Patriots' Rodney Harrison guarding the Giants' David Tyree during the "Helmet Catch" in Super Bowl XLII, Mary Decker's fall in the 1984 Olympic 1500m, and Craig Ehlo who gave up "The Shot" to Michael Jordan in the 1989 NBA playoffs, Menefee examines the legacy of the hardest loses, revealing the unique path that athletes have to walk after they lose on their sport's biggest stage. Shedding new light some of the most accepted scapegoat stories in the sports cannon, he also revisits both the Baltimore Colts' loss to the Jets in Super Bowl III, as well as the Red Sox loss in the 1986 World Series, showing why, despite years of humiliation, it might not be all Bill Buckner's fault.

Illustrated with sixteen pages of color photos, this considered and compassionate study offers invaluable lessons about pain, resilience, disappointment, remorse, and acceptance that can help us look at our lives and ourselves in a profound new way.

Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History

By Schiot, Molly

2016-10 - Simon & Schuster

9781501137099 Check Our Catalog

"A thoughtful, exhaustively researched, and long-overdue tribute to the women who have paved the way for the likes of Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, Simone Biles, and more." --espnW

"A stirring tribute to the record setters, barrier breakers, and milestone makers who opened the way for the women competitors of today....Packed with classic photographs, Schiot's book is a gold-medal gift idea for the sports fan." --BookPage

Based on the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines, a celebration of the pioneering, forgotten female athletes of the twentieth century that features rarely seen photos and new interviews with past and present game changers including Abby Wambach and Cari Champion.

Two years ago, filmmaker Molly Schiot began the Instagram account @TheUnsungHeroines, posting a photo each day of a female athlete who had changed the face of sports around the globe in the pre-Title IX age. These women paved the way for Serena Williams, Carli Lloyd, and Lindsey Vonn, yet few today know who they are. Slowly but surely, the account gained a following, and the result is Game Changers, a beautifully illustrated collection of these trailblazers' rarely-before-seen photos and stories.

Featuring icons Althea Gibson and Wyomia Tyus, complete unknowns Trudy Beck and Conchita Cintron, policymaker Margaret Dunkle, sportswriter Lisa Olson, and many more, Game Changers gives these "founding mothers" the attention and recognition they deserve, and features critical conversations between past and present gamechangers--including former US Women's National Soccer Team captain Abby Wambach and SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion--about what it means to be a woman on and off the field. Inspiring, empowering, and unforgettable, Game Changers is the perfect gift for anyone who has a love of the game.

99: Stories of the Game

By Gretzky, Wayne

2016-10 - G.P. Putnam's Sons

9780399575471 Check Our Catalog

"The Great One" weaves memories of his legendary career with an inside look at the sport of professional hockey, and the heroes and stories that inspired him.

From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed "The Great One," he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has--but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.

For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid, the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.

Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.